Students need to know more about work, says survey

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SECONDARY schools need to do more to help prepare young people for the world of work.

That’s the view of three out of four Hampshire businesses, according to a British Chambers of Commerce survey.

Of those surveyed, 73 per cent said more should be done to embed key skills for work in the curriculum.

Respondents listed the top five entry-level skills for the workplace as communication, literacy, numeracy, computer literacy and teamwork.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stewart Dunn said: ‘Ministers and most schools could and should be doing much more to help curb youth employment rates which are still stubbornly three times the overall unemployment rate.

‘Students entering the employment marketplace deserve better preparation so they can help employers plug skills gaps.’

Respondents said schools should also run dedicated lessons on recruitment and interview techniques.

Cath Longhurst, Chief Executive of Education Business Partnership South, which covers Portsmouth, said: ‘It is well known that there are yawning skills gaps in many industry sectors.

‘Preparing students for work should be given the same level of priority as academic achievement in schools.’

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with education charities to support young people in their career choices and help employers to engage with schools and prepare and inspire young people.

Basingstoke Consortium chief executive Sue Riley said: ‘The survey reinforces the need to take action to combat skills gaps.

‘Everyone involved – businesses, education leaders and politicians – must engage with this issue so we can all help the next generation get a better start in their working lives.’

Employers keen to discuss work experience opportunities with education business partnerships can find more information at ebpsouth.co.uk and basingstokeconsortium.com.